Government Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Gitmo Is Killing Me
2013-04-15, New York Times
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray. I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone. I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding. The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being ... and I deserve to be treated like one.
Note: Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, has been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002. For an illuminating analysis of this situation by the Washington Post, click here.
Why this is the worst economic recovery on record
2013-04-15, Christian Science Monitor
We’re now witnessing what happens when all of the economic gains go to the top. Four years into a so-called recovery and we’re still below recession levels in every important respect except the stock market. A measly 88,000 jobs were created in March, and total employment remains some 3 million below its pre-recession level. Labor-force participation is it’s lowest since 1979. The underlying problem is the vast middle class is running out of money. They can’t borrow more — and shouldn’t, given what happened after the last borrowing binge. Real annual median household income keeps falling. It’s down to $45,018, from $51,144 in 2010. All the gains from the recovery continue to go to the top. Widening inequality is not inevitable. If we wanted to reverse it and restore middle-class prosperity, we could. We could award tax cuts to companies that link the pay of their hourly workers to profits and productivity, and that keep the total pay of their top 5 executives within 20 times the pay of their median worker. And impose higher taxes on companies that don’t. We could raise the minimum wage to half the average wage. We could increase public investment in education, including early-childhood. We could eliminate college loans and allow all students to repay the cost of their higher education with a 10 percent surcharge on the first 10 years of income from full-time employment. And we could pay for all this by adding additional tax brackets at the top and increasing the top marginal tax rate to what it was before 1981 – at least 70 percent.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collapse of the global economy assisted by speculation and profiteering by financial corporations, click here.
Hacktivists as Gadflies
2013-04-15, New York Times blog
We have had gadflies among us ever since [Socrates], but one contemporary breed in particular has come in for a rough time of late: the “hacktivist.” Hacktivists, roughly speaking, are individuals who redeploy and repurpose technology for social causes. In this sense they are different from garden-variety hackers out to enrich only themselves. Barrett Brown, a journalist who had achieved some level of notoriety as the “the former unofficial not-spokesman for Anonymous,” the hacktivist group, now sits in federal custody in Texas. Mr. Brown came under the scrutiny of the authorities when he began poring over documents that had been released in the hack of two private security companies, HBGary Federal and Stratfor. Mr. Brown did not take part in the hacks, but he did become obsessed with the contents that emerged from them — in particular the extracted documents showed that private security contractors were being hired by the United States government to develop strategies for undermining protesters and journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon. Because Stratfor had not encrypted the credit card information of its clients, the information in the cache included credit card numbers and validation numbers. Mr. Brown didn’t extract the numbers or highlight them; he merely offered a link to the database. For this he was charged on 12 counts, all of which pertained to credit card fraud. The charges against him add up to about 100 years in federal prison.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
Why Julian Assange would target Henry Kissinger
2013-04-11, BBC News
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has released a database of diplomatic records by Henry Kissinger, who ran American foreign policy under two presidents. Assange has compiled a database of State Department cables that Kissinger signed during the 1970s. The documents were not classified and had been available in national archives, which is where Wikileaks researchers obtained them. Six years after Wikileaks was founded, Assange and his organisation are under pressure. He worked on the database at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he is now living. Critics deplore what Kissinger has done. They point out that after the US secretly bombed Cambodia in 1970, Kissinger tried to control leaks of information about government activities by setting up wiretaps at the homes of journalists. Critics also say Kissinger encouraged the overthrow of Socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, in 1973. Because of his role in the wiretapping of Americans and his comments about Chile, among other things, Kissinger has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the years. Kissinger would "sanitise" official accounts of meetings, says Princeton University's Gary Bass, author of a forthcoming book called The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. "He would tell his note-takers to leave out something, so we don't have a complete record."
Note: It is quite unusual that this article and very few media have reported on a key quote by Kissinger that was released in these files. He says, “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." You can see an image of the document with this quote at this link.
Three key lessons from the Obama administration's drone lies
2013-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
For years, senior Obama officials, including the president himself, have been making public claims about their drone program that have just been proven to be categorically false. McClatchy's national security reporter, Jonathan Landay, obtained top-secret intelligence documents showing that "contrary to assurances it has deployed US drones only against known senior leaders of al-Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified 'other' militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan's rugged tribal area." That article quotes drone expert Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations as saying that "McClatchy's findings indicate that the administration is 'misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.'" In his own must-read article at Foreign Policy about these disclosures, Zenko writes - under the headline: "Finally, proof that the United States has lied in the drone wars" - that "it turns out that the Obama administration has not been honest about who the CIA has been targeting with drones in Pakistan" and that the McClatchy article "plainly demonstrates that the claim repeatedly made by President Obama and his senior aides - that targeted killings are limited only to officials, members, and affiliates of al-Qaida who pose an imminent threat of attack on the US homeland - is false." Zenko explains that these now-disproven claims may very well make the drone strikes illegal since assertions about who is being targeted were "essential to the legal foundations on which the strikes are ultimately based."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the lies and crimes committed by the US and UK in their global wars of aggression, click here.
Big banks 'more dangerous than ever', IMF's Christine Lagarde says
2013-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Europe needs to recapitalise, restructure or shut down its banks as part of a vital clean-up of the industry, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said as she warned that the threat from world’s biggest lenders was “more dangerous than ever”. Speaking in New York ahead of next week’s IMF Spring meeting, Ms Lagarde launched a broadside against the financial services industry for resisting urgent reform. “In too many cases – from the United States in 2008 to Cyprus today – we have seen what happens when a banking sector chooses the quick buck ..., backing a business model that ultimately destabilizes the economy. We simply cannot have pre-crisis banking in a post-crisis world. We need reform, even in the face of intense pushback from an industry sometimes reluctant to abandon lucrative lines of business.” Almost five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed, she claimed: “The 'oversize banking’ model of too-big-to-fail is more dangerous than ever. We must get to the root of the problem with comprehensive and clear regulation.” Regulators have forced banks to increase significantly their loss-absorbing capital buffers since the crisis, but are still working on "resolution" mechanisms that will allow giant lenders to fail without hitting the taxpayer and threatening financial stability. Regulators must also work together, she added, amid evidence that some countries are caving into pressure from the banking lobby.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed
2013-04-08, New York Times
All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on [April 8]. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives. The position of the former chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, is not unusual in that various anti-nuclear groups take the same stance. But it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring. Dr. Jaczko made his remarks at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington in a session about the Fukushima accident. Dr. Jaczko said that many American reactors that had received permission from the nuclear commission to operate for 20 years beyond their initial 40-year licenses probably would not last that long. He also rejected as unfeasible changes proposed by the commission that would allow reactor owners to apply for a second 20-year extension, meaning that some reactors would run for a total of 80 years. Dr. Jaczko resigned as chairman last summer after months of conflict with his four colleagues on the commission. He often voted in the minority on various safety questions, advocated more vigorous safety improvements, and was regarded with deep suspicion by the nuclear industry.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on grave risks caused by corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.
Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime
2013-04-07, New York Times
On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks. Each video ... drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision. But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms. Critics call them “Ag-Gag” bills. Some of the legislation appears inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business advocacy group with hundreds of state representatives from farm states as members. One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
The extraordinary range of people using offshore hideaways
2013-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The secret records obtained by ICIJ [International Consortium of Investigative Journalists] lay bare an extraordinary range of people using offshore hideaways.
They include ... families of despots, Wall Street swindlers, eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian executives, [and] international arms dealers. The leaks illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has aggressively spread around the globe. The records detail offshore holdings in more than 170 territories; this represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organisation. Eighty-six journalists from 46 countries used both hi-tech data crunching and traditional reporting to sift through emails and account ledgers covering nearly 30 years. "Everything is much more geared toward business," David Marchant, publisher of OffshoreAlert, an online journal, said. "If you're dishonest, you can take advantage of that in a bad way." ICIJ's 15-month investigation found that ... the secrecy and lax oversight offered by the offshore world appears to allow fraud, tax-dodging and political corruption to thrive. A study by James S Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Company [and a board member of the Tax Justice Network], estimates that wealthy individuals have $21-$32tn tucked away in offshore havens – roughly equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.
Note: To learn more about how all of this incredibly revealing data was obtained and processed, click here. For a powerfully revealing documentary showing how huge corporations park profits offshore to avoid taxes, click here.
Monsanto Protection Act put GM companies above the federal courts
2013-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Even people used to the closeness of the US administration and food giants like Monsanto have been shocked by the latest demonstration of the GM industry's political muscle. Little-noticed in Europe or outside the US, President Barack Obama last week signed off what has become widely known as "the Monsanto Protection Act", technically the Farmer Assurance Provision rider in HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act 2013. According to an array of food and consumer groups, organic farmers, civil liberty and trade unions and others, this hijacks the constitution, sets a legal precedent and puts Monsanto and other biotech companies above the federal courts. It means, they say, that not even the US government can now stop the sale, planting, harvest or distribution of any GM seed, even if it is linked to illness or environmental problems. The backlash has been furious. A Food Democracy Now petition has attracted 250,000 names. The only good news, say the opponents, is that because the "Monsanto Protection Act" was part of the much wider spending bill, it will formally expire in September. The bad news however is that the precedent has been set and it is unlikely that the world's largest seed company and the main driver of the divisive GM technology will ever agree to give up its new legal protection. The company, in effect, now rules.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the harm caused by GMOs, click here.
Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
2013-04-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife. The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands, has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade. The naming project may be extremely damaging for confidence among the world's wealthiest people, no longer certain that the size of their fortunes remains hidden from governments and from their neighbours. As well as Britons hiding wealth offshore, an extraordinary array of government officials and rich families across the world are identified, from Canada, the US, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, China, Thailand and former communist states. The Caribbean micro-state has incorporated more than a million such offshore entities since it began marketing itself worldwide in the 1980s. Owners' true identities are never revealed. Even the island's official financial regulators normally have no idea who is behind them.
The British Foreign Office depends on the BVI's company licensing revenue to subsidise this residual outpost of empire, while lawyers and accountants in the City of London benefit from a lucrative trade as intermediaries.
Note: For profiles of a few leading secret account holders, click here. For a powerfully revealing documentary showing how huge corporations park profits offshore to avoid taxes, click here.
UN Adopts Treaty to Regulate Global Arms Trade
2013-04-03, ABC News/Associated Press
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade [on April 2], after a more than decade-long campaign. The final vote: 154 in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions. "This is a victory for the world's people," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The Arms Trade Treaty will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market. ... It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law." Never before has there been a treaty regulating the global arms trade, which is estimated to be worth $60 billion. Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA [said,] "The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses." What impact the treaty will actually have remains to be seen. It will take effect 90 days after 50 countries ratify it, and a lot will depend on which ones ratify and which ones don't, and how stringently it is implemented. As for its chances of being ratified by the U.S., the powerful National Rifle Association has vehemently opposed it, and it is likely to face stiff resistance from conservatives in the Senate, where it needs two-thirds to win ratification.
The GOP and the black helicopter crowd
2013-04-03, Washington Post blog
If you want to understand why progress on gun violence or on other major issues facing the country has become pretty much impossible, one place to start is with the GOP’s opposition to the U.N. treaty on the global arms trade. Prospects for the treaty are bleak in the United States Senate. This is because it is opposed by the National Rifle Association and Republican Senators (and at least one Democrat, Max Baucus), partly on the grounds that it will violate Americans’ gun rights. Leading Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz is denouncing the treaty as “international gun regulation.” Senator Jim Inhofe called it “another attempt by internationalists to limit and infringe upon America’s sovereignty.” Last year Rand Paul claimed the treaty would pave the way for “full-scale gun CONFISCATION.” These and other Senators — which may end up including a few red state Dems, too, since over 50 Senators vowed months ago to oppose it — seem to be following the lead of the NRA, which has claimed that the treaty could “infringe on gun rights as understood in the United States and could force Americans on to an international registry.” Yet the treaty explicitly addresses such objections. FactCheck.org has noted that the administration has explicitly said it won’t support any treaty that “regulates the domestic transfer or ownership of weapons.” Gavin Aronsen adds: “the treaty doesn’t dictate domestic gun laws in member countries. It requires signatories to establish controls on the import and export of conventional arms.” But opposition on domestic gun rights grounds continues unabated, anyway.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Road to tax havens is paved with potholes
2013-04-02, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Our government must act to close the loopholes that allow companies and wealthy individuals to get out of paying their taxes - in particular, loopholes allowing them to move profits offshore to avoid taxation. The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) ... released a study outlining how in California alone, an estimated $7.1 billion in potential tax revenue for 2011 was lost because companies and individuals shifted profits to subsidiary shell companies in tax havens. Often described as "sunny places for shady people," tax havens aren't usually associated with mundane issues like potholes - or with cuts to programs for seniors; freezes in funding for public education ... or cancellation of emergency services. Yet the PIRG study, which concludes that the United States is losing about $150 billion in tax revenue annually, shows once again how tax havens and shortfalls in government budgets are directly related. Despite the obvious damage to society, shifting profits offshore is, in most cases, perfectly legal. In fact, tax haven use by big companies is so common that a 2008 Government Accountability Office Report found 83 of the Fortune 100 companies in the United States had subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Just because something is legal does not mean that it is right.
Note: For a powerfully revealing documentary showing how huge corporations park profits offshore to avoid taxes, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Domestic drones and their unique dangers
2013-03-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The use of drones by domestic US law enforcement agencies is growing rapidly, both in terms of numbers and types of usage. As a result, civil liberties and privacy groups led by the ACLU ... have been devoting increasing efforts to publicizing their unique dangers and agitating for statutory limits. The belief that weaponized drones won't be used on US soil is patently irrational. Police departments are already speaking openly about how their drones "could be equipped to carry nonlethal weapons such as Tasers or a bean-bag gun." The drone industry has already developed and is now aggressively marketing precisely such weaponized drones for domestic law enforcement use. Domestic weaponized drones will be much smaller and cheaper, as well as more agile - but just as lethal [as the large missile-firing drones used by the US military overseas]. The nation's leading manufacturer of small "unmanned aircraft systems" (UAS) ... is AeroVironment, Inc. (AV). AV is now focused on drone products - such as the "Qube" - that are so small that they can be "transported in the trunk of a police vehicle or carried in a backpack." AV's website ... touts a February, 2013 Defense News article describing how much the US Army loves [its] "Switchblade" [drone]. Time Magazine heralded this tiny drone weapon as "one of the best inventions of 2012", gushing: "the Switchblade drone can be carried into battle in a backpack. It's a kamikaze: the person controlling it uses a real-time video feed from the drone to crash it into a precise target. Its tiny warhead detonates on impact."
Note: This important article also discusses drones used by government agencies such as police for purposes of continuous surveillance. But it misses entirely another major dimension: privately owned and controlled drones, which are becoming dirt cheap and within the reach of virtually anyone. Will the new "DroneWorld" in the making combine the worst features of the Police State with the Wild West?
Banks score major win in private Libor suits
2013-03-29, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
The world's biggest banks won a major victory on [March 29] when a U.S. judge dismissed a "substantial portion" of the claims in private lawsuits accusing them of rigging global benchmark interest rates. The 16 banks had faced claims totaling billions of dollars in the case. The banks include: Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, [and others]. They had been accused by a diverse body of private plaintiffs, ranging from bondholders to the city of Baltimore, of conspiring to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key benchmark at the heart of more than $550 trillion in financial products. In a significant setback for the plaintiffs, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan granted the banks' motion to dismiss federal antitrust claims and partially dismissed the plaintiffs' claims of commodities manipulation. She also dismissed racketeering and state-law claims. Buchwald did allow a portion of the lawsuit to continue that claims the banks' alleged manipulation of Libor harmed traders who bet on interest rates. Small movements in those rates can mean sizable gains or losses for those gambling on which way the rates move. Buchwald's decision may make it more likely that banks will talk settlement with a significant win in their pocket. The decision also could cast doubt on some of the highest analyst projections about potential Libor damages, and quell some concerns that the banks have not reserved enough for litigation expenses.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on criminal operations of the financial industry, click here.
Overseas stashes complicate tax reform
2013-03-28, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
According to a new report, most of the 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones industrial average are paying a far lower proportion of their profits in federal taxes - at a time when the Dow is reaching new highs - than they have in past decades. The main reason: not so much those yawning tax loopholes, but the multinationals' ability to stash more of their money overseas, where it's taxed at a lower rate and the feds can't touch it. Hewlett-Packard, according to the analysis, experienced the steepest percentage reduction in federal taxes - 47 percent since 1969. Intel's share of income paid in taxes has fallen by 29.6 percent since 1973, and Cisco Systems by 24.7 percent since 1989. U.S. multinationals ... often pay far less than the standard 35 percent corporate tax rate - a rate many of these companies are pushing to have significantly lowered. In its year-end report, Intel recorded $13 billion in profit - a record - and said its tax rate was approximately 29 percent. In 2010 HP paid $1.75 billion in income taxes on $9.4 billion of pretax income, a tax rate of 18.6 percent. As a share of the nation's GDP, U.S. corporate income tax has fallen by more than half, from 5.5 percent in 1946 to 2.6 percent in 2011.
Note: The statement about corporate income tax falling from 5.5 percent of GDP in 1946 to 2.6 percent in 2011 is quite misleading, making it appear that corporate taxes are a small percentage of total income. It is much more accurate to compare the total annual amount of corporate taxes to individuals' taxes. As this historical tax chart clearly shows, in 1946 corporate income tax receipts were 74% of the amount received from individual income taxes. By 2011, corporate taxes dropped to less than 17% of the amount paid in individual income taxes. That is a huge percentage drop in corporate taxes.
The corporate ‘predator state’
2013-03-26, Washington Post
Bipartisan agreement in Washington usually means citizens should hold on to their wallets or get ready for another threat to peace. Beneath all the partisan bickering, bipartisan majorities are solid for a trade policy run by and for multinationals, a health-care system serving insurance and drug companies, an energy policy for Big Oil and King Coal, and finance favoring banks that are too big to fail. Economist James Galbraith calls this the “predator state,” one in which large corporate interests rig the rules to protect their subsidies, tax dodges and monopolies. This isn’t the free market; it’s a rigged market. Wall Street is a classic example. The attorney general announces that some banks are too big to prosecute. Despite what the FBI called an “epidemic of fraud,” not one head of a big bank has gone to jail or paid a major personal fine. Bloomberg News estimated that the subsidy they are provided by being too big to fail adds up to an estimated $83 billion a year. Corporate welfare is, of course, offensive to progressives. But true conservatives are — or should be — offended by corporate welfare as well. Conservative economists Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales argue that it is time to “save capitalism from the capitalists,” urging conservatives to support strong measures to break up monopolies, cartels and the predatory use of political power to distort competition. Here is where left and right meet, not in a bipartisan big-money fix, but in an odd bedfellows campaign to clean out Washington. For that to happen, small businesses and community banks will have to develop an independent voice in our politics.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between the US government and corrupt financial corporations, click here.
Top Pentagon thinker bemoans “civilian subjugation to the military.”
2013-03-26, Boston Globe
Blistering charges of misplaced power and a morally bankrupt culture in the nation’s “military-industrial complex” are rarely leveled by one of the defense establishment’s own. But that is exactly what ... Gregory D. Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington [did] when he went after the top brass, political leaders, and defense company executives [at a recent defense budget conference]. He accused them of allowing the nearly sacrosanct principle of civilian control of the military—an early building block of American democracy—to be turned on its head. How? By virtually never questioning the key assumptions of military planning and allowing a largely unchecked, destructive and highly militarized foreign policy to pose as a “properly subordinated military industrial complex.” [Foster said] “This is what I call civilian subjugation to the military. We face it in this administration, we faced it in the Clinton administration...we faced it in the Bush administration.” It all makes for a national security establishment, in Foster’s view, that perpetuates an approach to the world that is overly confrontational, lacks critical thinking about long term objectives, and even undercuts the strategic aims of democracy. For example, he said the accepted orthodoxy of never-ending global threats and the necessity to confront them militarily makes it nearly impossible to fashion a national security strategy that puts real security, crisis prevention, and the preservation of civil society ahead of institutional bias and private profit.
Note: For a penetrating analysis by a great general of the real purposes served by continuous war, click here.
Hot Money Blues
2013-03-25, New York Times
Whatever the final outcome in the Cyprus crisis ... the island nation will have to maintain fairly draconian controls on the movement of capital in and out of the country. It will mark the end of an era for Cyprus, which has in effect spent the past decade advertising itself as a place where wealthy individuals who want to avoid taxes and scrutiny can safely park their money, no questions asked. But it may also mark at least the beginning of the end for something much bigger: the era when unrestricted movement of capital was taken as a desirable norm around the world. [With] the rise of free-market ideology, the assumption [is] that if financial markets want to move money across borders, there must be a good reason, and bureaucrats shouldn’t stand in their way. But the truth, hard as it may be for ideologues to accept, is that unrestricted movement of capital is looking more and more like a failed experiment. It’s hard to imagine now, but for more than three decades after World War II financial crises of the kind we’ve lately become so familiar with hardly ever happened. Since 1980, however, the roster has been impressive: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile in 1982. Sweden and Finland in 1991. Mexico again in 1995. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea in 1998. Argentina again in 2002. And, of course, the more recent run of disasters: Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus. The best predictor of crisis is large inflows of foreign money: in all but a couple of the cases ... the foundation for crisis was laid by a rush of foreign investors into a country, followed by a sudden rush out.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between the US government and corrupt financial corporations, click here.